Train forced to make emergency stop after burning car left on train track in Limavady
Police are appealing for information after a car was set on fire and abandoned on railway tracks at a level crossing on the Limestone Road, Limavady last night.
A train with passengers on board was forced to make an emergency stop. The incident, near Bellarena, occurred around 9pm on the Belfast to Derry line, police said.
Northern Ireland’s infrastructure minister said the incident left her “deeply concerned.”
Translink Group chief executive Chris Conway said: “The train driver reacted quickly and thankfully brought the train to a stop safely, short of where the car was burning.
“The train crew ensured all safety procedures were followed with the incident swiftly reported and emergency services attended the scene.
“The train returned to Coleraine Station, where six passengers got off safely for onward connections by road. It is very fortunate that no-one has been injured in this incident.”
The train line has now reopened.
Chief Inspector MclIdowney described the incident as “reckless endangerment to life” and praised the “heroics of our colleagues in the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service”.
“Our investigation is currently underway to establish the circumstances into this incident. We are appealing for any witnesses to contact police on quoting serial number 1945 of the 12/04/21.”
Deeply concerned by this incident. It is unimaginable to think what could've happened this evening if it wasn't for the quick action of the train driver who stopped the train before it reached the burning car on the track. If you know anything about this, please contact the PSNI. https://t.co/i7ggiqpBGE— Nichola Mallon (@NicholaMallon) April 12, 2021
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon condemned the incident, which she said left her “deeply concerned and troubled”.
“I am so relieved to hear that passengers and crew are all safe,” Ms Mallon said.
“It is unimaginable to think what could have happened this evening had it not been for the prompt action of the driver and crew.
“I want to express my gratitude to them and to the emergency services. I would urge anyone with any information about this incident to contact the PSNI.”
Mr Conway said Translink would be working with the PSNI to investigate the incident, adding: “We utterly condemn this attack which had the potential for very serious consequences.”
?? #TRAIN Following an earlier obstruction on the line, the line between #Coleraine and #Derry #Londonderry has reopened.— Translink #Translink25 (@Translink_NI) April 13, 2021
?? The 06:42 service from Derry-Londonderry will operate as a normal train service. The 07:38 will operate as a bus substitute service to Coleraine.
This is where the car was abandoned and set on fire last night on the railway line in Magilligan - not too far from Bellarena's main platform. You can still smell smoke this morning. Trains operating as normal again. @BBCNewsNI @BBCRadioFoyle @Translink_NI pic.twitter.com/YjfJ9GVkgl— Dean McLaughlin (@Dean_Journalist) April 13, 2021
- The time of this incident was amended to 9pm as the police had stated it happened at 745pm in error but later clarified their mistake.